Australian Building and Construction Commission to be abolished: The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022 is now in force and will abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) on 6 February 2023. The information on this website is currently under review and cannot be relied upon. For advice and assistance with your workplace rights and responsibilities, please contact the Fair Work Ombudsman at 13 13 94 or at www.fairwork.gov.au
- CFMMEU, Dean Rielly, Paul Fitzpatrick
- Non-compliance with right of entry laws
The Federal Circuit and Family Court on 4 August 2022 penalised the CFMMEU and two of its officials $114,660 for hindering and obstructing contractors during construction of the $4.9 billion Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade project near Grafton in northern New South Wales.
The penalty followed the Court finding that on 22 August 2019 CFMMEU officials Dean Rielly and Paul Fitzpatrick refused to follow lawful directions and prevented a concrete pour from occurring.
The Court found that the officials entered an exclusion zone, positioned themselves behind a concrete truck and refused to move when requested to do so.
Their actions resulted in the concrete pour being abandoned and six cubic metres of concrete wasted, with one and a half days of work time lost because of the officials’ actions.
Judge Humphreys found both officials and the CFMMEU breached the Fair Work Act by intentionally hindering and obstructing the contractors by preventing the concrete pour.
Judge Humphrey’s said of Mr Rielly’s actions:
“The Court is satisfied that Mr Rielly took the lead role in the contraventions. At all times, Mr Rielly deliberately and intentionally refused to move away from the back of the concrete agitator until after the concrete pour was abandoned.”
Describing the CFMMEU Judge Humphreys said:
“This is a Union which has a long and troubled history of breaches of the relevant workplace legislation. It is a Union that appears to have a preferred mode of business that accepts prosecution for breaches of the relevant legislation as an occupational hazard, and presumably the imposition of pecuniary penalties in the same casual manner.”
In assessing the level of penalty Judge Humphreys went on to say the Court has:
“… taken account that no remorse or contrition has been evidenced by the CFMMEU, and accordingly, no reduction in penalty is available in relation to this factor. Further, that has been no cooperation with the applicant post the initiation of the proceedings, and indeed, it would be fair to say that the prosecution has been very hard fought at every stage.”
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